Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: Space Station Alpha

The following are reader's opinions of the Space Station Alpha made by Revell DE.

Reviewer   Michael Betan
Date Reviewed   May 8, 2001
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments I'm new to model making, influenced by the subject matter more than the process, so please accept that my comments may not be "decisive" I bought this model in Scotland UK for a very reasonable £20.00. Having searched the net for a similar product, though they can be found they are much more expensive.

Main criticism is the accuracy of the model,Space Station design changes most likely the problem as opposed to Revell. Accuracy could be improved by doctoring a second kit, using extra docking nodes to attatch to Unity module. The large upright unit which supports the main overhead Solar panels (Photovoltaic Module) is not accurate at all. Revell's kit supplies this unit as a solid pointed hexagonal unit. In reality this piece is actually a metal telescopic framework (verified from video footage). I searched Nasa's site for close up details of this unit and found interesting info on the ISS Shuttle page.Nasa's own illustrations use both the Revell type shape & the actual shape of the PVM. Having used the Revell part in my model I intend to scratch build the framework version. If other modellers intend to do the same, I draw your attention to the fact that the whole PVM unit is currently sitting on top of the Z1 Truss. It will be moved at a later date to the position as dictated by the Revell Model.

If the modelmaker is knowledgeable of ISS Alpha and was willing to do a bit of scratch work and / or purchase a second kit, I think a good and affordable model could be built. It would be a godsend for someone to produce an enhanced set of decals for this kit as all over the original ISS there are little white squares with black dots on them, used for computer guidance during construction. Decals as oppsed to painting would certainly be more practical. As an amateur, my model is looking ok. I'm sure the experienced could do a grand job. Best of luck.

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